Universities and colleges are drowning in documents — from applications for enrollment, student records and human resources forms to new digital content, such as online videos and podcasts. For most staff, documents are hard to find, keep track of and manage. Paper is strewn across desks and stuffed in file cabinets, while electronic content is housed in staff members’ hard drives, e-mail inboxes and network drives. -Gartner, May 2008
Apparently, since Gartner’s cited May 2008 study, higher education institutions have gotten the message about the benefits of electronic document management and are reaching for technology solutions than can save them from the quagmire of paper documents and isolated digital documents.
In his 6 Hot Higher Education Technology Trends, Bob Burwell, NepApp, noted that education leaders were considering several top-of-mind themes and challenges which would affect their document management processes, including:
- Cloud and virtualization – simplifies resources allocation and maintenance, and reduces cost of operation
- Shared services – allows documents and other resources to be shared among network users
- Big Data and analytics – is a boon to research by processing enormous quantities of data, but requires storage, retrieval, and archiving planning
- Cyber security – a necessity to protect against data theft and loss
- Video – improves security but also requires planning content retention and retrieval
EdTechReview’s Trends Redefining Higher Education in 2017, commented that the increased demand for online admission, marketing and enrollment at colleges and universities was impacting their ability to manage the complete admission and enrollment process. It would also require increased use of Big Data to Measure Student Performance. Richard DeMillo, executive director of Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for 21st Century Universities, (tracks technology innovations in higher education) noted, “Because online students complete their coursework virtually, course providers and universities are collecting data “in really kind of remarkable quantities.”
These new technologies offer greater opportunity for better performance, cost savings, security, and access to content. But change requires assessment and planning to ensure documents are accessible by the right stakeholders, are secure, and properly managed over their lifecycle.
Higher Technologies for Higher Education
To keep up with the rapidly changing technology already available to businesses and consumers, many colleges and universities recognize the need to adapt and embrace the technologies that can help them succeed in managing the glut of paper documents. They’re framing and adopting new processes to replace out-of-date document management procedures.
As an example, Wentworth Institute of Technology needed to improve their admissions processes from beginning to end. NEdocs worked with the Sr. Director of Admission to provide Electronic Admissions Routing services at the school to “cut in half the time that it took to process applications and credentials. We no longer have to deal with missing or misfiled documents.”
Similarly, there was a group of Massachusetts schools that aimed to find a document management solution that turned out to be a green initiative designed to enhance operations through workflow automation and seamless integration with PeopleSoft.
For further information about document management solutions for higher education, feel free to call us at (603) 625-1171.